(CN) – The Insane Clown Posse followed through on threats to sue the FBI for categorizing its fans, known as Juggalos, as a criminal gang.
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The rap group and its record label, Psychopathic Records, filed a federal complaint against the FBI in their home turf of Detroit on Tuesday. The complaint accuses the FBI of failing to timely respond to a request for documents regarding the agency’s classification of the Juggalos as a gang in its “2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends” report.
Attorneys for the band, Howard Herz and Elizabeth Thomson with Hertz Schram of Bloomington Hills, Mich., made the request on Aug. 24.
The FBI acknowledged the receipt of the request three days later, but it still has not released any sought-after records, according to the complaint.
In its report, the FBI describes the Juggalos as engaging in “sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism.”
A search of “Juggalo” in the FBI report turned up a photo of a gun-wielding woman with a clown face, and this statement: “The Juggalos, a loosely organized hybrid gang, are rapidly expanding into many US communities. Although recognized as a gang in only four states, many Juggalos subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence. Law enforcement officials in at least 21 states have identified criminal Juggalo sub-sets, according to NGIC reporting.”
In early August, ICP responded to the report by asking its fans to help gather information for a lawsuit against the FBI.
“On behalf of the Juggalos, the Insane Clown Posse and Psychopathic Records are investigating a possible lawsuit against the FBI or other governmental agencies that have violated the rights of Juggalos on the mistaken belief that they are ‘gang members,'” the duo stated on its JuggalosFightBack website.
“If you or someone you know have suffered any negative consequence with a governmental representative, including law enforcement, border patrol, airline security, or other local, state or federal governmental agency or employee as a result of your status as a Juggalo, we want to know about it.”
The duo then asked fans to fill out an online questionnaire so they can assist fans “in getting the legal help that you deserve as a Juggalo.”
ICP is seeking an order for the timely disclosure of documents under the Freedom of Information Act.
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